Hounds 'n' Harmony

My dog is a fussy eater!!

This is something I hear time and time again, and something that is very worrying for dog owners. Many owners start buying different types of foods and flavours and sometimes even resort to feeding their dog human foods or worst still, hand feeding, just to get their dog to eat.

However, food for a dog is not only essential to keep them alive, but it is a power source, which they use to denote status within the pack. Think about this for a moment in relation to our world; whoever provides the meals, is normally the one in charge (mother or father for example).

When I was growing up, children had to eat whatever their parents put on the table, otherwise you went hungry. If you didn’t like what was on your plate, your parents didn’t cook you something else, either you ate it, or someone else did. Although things have changed since then, with food being more abundant and affordable, some of us do cook different meals to cater for our children’s tastes, but this should not be the case with our dogs. Where food is concerned, dogs still live by the same rules that have served them well for thousands of years, where the decision maker eats first and the subordinates second, and if they don’t eat the food, they lose it to another pack member. By pandering to our dogs demands, we are handing over the power source, which sends our dogs a very clear signal as to who is making the decisions!

Dogs will not starve themselves! They may have a preference over certain types of foods or flavours, but when faced with hunger, they will eat whatever they can get. The same applies to us, starvation or scraps? We will always pick the latter.

So how do we get our dogs to eat their food?... YOU take back control of the food! YOU decide when feeding time is! YOU decide what you are going to feed them! If your dog has not eaten its food within 5 minutes, or they have turned their nose up and walked away (whichever is sooner), you pick up the bowl and do not feed them again until the next mealtime. By leaving food down, you are allowing the dog to decide when he/she eats, which in their mind, makes them the head of the household!

If you wish to know more about canine behaviour and how I can help you, then please click on the following link: https://www.houndsnharmony.co.uk/canine-behaviour